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China agrees to end anti-dumping probe into European wine

China has agreed to end its anti-dumping investigation into wine imports from the European Union, in exchange for technical advice on how to improve its own vineyards.

The European Commission said today (21 March) that China has agreed to close the investigation, following several months of talks between the two sides.

China’s government targeted European wine imports last year in what was seen as tit-for-tat retaliation following the European Commission’s plans for tariffs on Chinese solar panels entering the EU.

News of a breakthrough in the talks on wine will offer reassurance to producers in Europe.

In France, which accounted for 71% of the €764m-worth of wine that left the EU for China in 2012, Bordeaux wine council president Bernard Farges previously said wine had been ‘taken hostage’ amid political wrangling.

In return for ending its investigation, China has secured two years of help and assistance in its vineyards and on marketing from experts in the European wine industry.

Alongside the politicians, that deal was brokered by the European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV) and the Chinese Alcohol Drinks Association (CADA).

EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Çioloş said, ‘My expectation is that the question mark hanging over EU wine exports as a result of the Chinese investigation is now clearly resolved and this is very good news.’

Written by Chris Mercer

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